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England will feel the weight of expectation from a nation on Sunday when they step out at Wembley for their first match at the European Championships against Croatia.

The Three Lions are being tipped as one of the favourites to go all the way in the tournament, along with the likes of France, Belgium, and Italy.

And with the competition having been delayed a year due to coronavirus, there is even more anticipation ahead of the big kick-off than usual as Gareth Southgate and his side look to do their country proud.

But if England fans are looking for good omens that they will be celebrating the perfect start with a win on Sunday, they may be left feeling pretty nervous.

England conceded a late equaliser in their opener against Russia at Euro 2016

Because amazingly, in over 50 years of playing in the tournament England have never tasted victory in their opening game at the Euros.

In the nine times they have featured in the finals they have drawn their first match five times and lost four.

The most recent edition of the competition was held in 2016, when England took on Russia in their opener.

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Eric Dier's 73rd minute free-kick had looked as though it would be enough for three points.

But Vasili Berezutski equalised late on in Marseille, and England ended up infamously being knocked out by minnows Iceland in the last-16.

There have also been a number of other memorable disappointments, such as when the Three Lions took the lead against France in 2004 through Frank Lampard only for two injury time Zinedine Zidane goals to see them eventually slump to defeat.

It is also worth remembering that England have never won the Euros, and have never even made it to the final, having suffered semi-final defeats in 1968 and 1996.

Nevertheless, Southgate will be desperately hoping that hurt can change this time around, and spoke passionately in an open letter published in The Player's Tribune on Tuesday.

Two late Zinedine Zidane goals broke England hearts in 2004

"Of course, my players and I will be judged on winning matches," he said. "Only one team can win the Euros. We have never done it before and we are desperate to do it for the first time.

"Believe me.

"But, the reality is that the result is just a small part of it. When England play, there's much more at stake than that.

"It’s about how we conduct ourselves on and off the pitch, how we bring people together, how we inspire and unite, how we create memories that last beyond the 90 minutes. That last beyond the summer. That last forever."